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Starting with the ancient Chinese and ending with contemporary Europeans and Americans, The World in a Phrase tells the story of the aphorism through spirited and amusing biographies of some of its greatest practitioners, including Emily Dickinson, and Mark Twain and Dorothy Parker; great French aphorists like Montaigne, La Rochefoucauld, and Chamfort; philosophers like Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein; as well as prophets and sages like the Buddha, Lao Tzu, and Jesus. In our modern age, The World in a Phrase explores how aphorisms still retain the power to instigate and inspire, enlighten and enrage, entertain and edify.
James Geary is the author of The Body Electric: An Anatomy of the New Bionic Senses. He lives in London with his wife and three children.
"James Geary's celebration of the smallest-and sometimes wisest-of literary forms. Geary defines the characteristics of aphorisms and discusses their history and their role in his life, and shares the work of renowned aphorists from Buddha to Dr. Seuss."-Associated Press
- Bloomsbury Publishing, February 2011
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